7 Revenue-Expanding Retail Ideas for Restaurants

Expanding into retail offerings is a great way for you to find additional revenue streams for your restaurant. But where should you start?

According to the Square Future of Restaurants report, 57% of consumers have purchased retail items at a local restaurant this year. Plus, 54% of consumers said that they’ve purchased retail items or experiences from restaurants they haven’t tried before, while another 41% of consumers have purchased other non-core items, such as premade frozen meals, meal or cocktail kits, and online cooking classes.

You have plenty of options for ways to expand into retail at your restaurant. Here are seven ideas that could fit your business.

1. Branded merchandise

Using your brand and aesthetic to market everything from clothing to home goods to tote bags can appeal to both your regular and new customers. These are easy items to add to your online store and market in-store. Plus, you can bundle the merch with popular offerings already on your menu — such as a hat add-on to a large-format menu offering.

Here’s a list of tips to get started marketing and selling merch.

2. Subscriptions

Subscriptions can help you build deeper relationships with regulars while ensuring a steady income stream. In the subscription business model, customers pay a recurring price at regular intervals to access a product or service. Here’s our list of restaurant-specific subscription ideas, including meal kits and tasting clubs.

Learn more about subscription management with Square .

3. Partner products

Consider stocking a shelf or your checkout counter with your favorite products from other businesses in the area that could be appealing to your customers. You can set up a cross-selling system with businesses to promote each other’s products, increase visibility, and add new revenue streams.

4. Cookbooks

Restaurant cookbooks don’t have to be glossy, heavily produced, hardcover books that take years to make. One low-cost alternative with potential upside: digital cookbooks that you can sell through your website as a downloadable PDF, featuring recipes for your signature dishes. You could even make recurring seasonal cookbooks and sell them as a subscription. A digital download also helps build up a strong customer list for your email marketing efforts.

5. Pet gifts

Are you a pet-friendly establishment? If so, offering branded pet toys and treats can help build customer loyalty and entice customers to include add-on items to their bill.

6. Cooking equipment and kitchen supplies

Your customers trust that you know your stuff when it comes to food and kitchens. Stocking your restaurant and online store with your favorite cooking tools, servingware, and ingredients can drive sales from regulars who trust your taste.

7. Groceries

If you have the staff and space for it, consider packaging popular sauces, seasonings, and specialty grocery items. Square Inventory helps you keep track of items across multiple ordering channels, curbing a need to manually stay on top of parts and counts with different selling channels.

Austin Tedesco
Austin Tedesco is an editor at Square covering all things management — from the technical aspects of payroll and taxes to the soft skills that lead to strong teams for any business.


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